North Down Seconds’ Hamilton Coulter (second right) with the NCU Junior Cup he hopes to win against Leslie Allen’s Muckamore Seconds at Lisburn on Saturday (August 10).
Also pictured are Stephen Houston of sponsors GMcG and Richard Johnson, President of the Northern Cricket Union.
In round one Muckamore had a convincing 138 runs victory over Monaghan wth Shane Henderson turning in a man of the match perfomance with an unbeaten 69 and 3-20 as the visitors were skittled for 66.
North Down had a bye into round two were they ran out easy winners against Waringstown IIIs by 8 wickets with Paul Davison returning figures of 5-8.
Muckamore were also 8 wicket winners against Belfast Superkings with Henderson again doing the damage with the ball (4-35). Richard Keates top scored with 53no as the victory target was reached.
Round 3 saw North Down sweep Lurgan aside by 184 runs. Veteran Billy Adams rolling back the years with a spell of 5-1, akin to Botham in 1981!
Muckamore overcame Instonians by 71 runs and again it was Shane Henderson to the fore with 61 and 3-21. F Collins also made a fine half century in the total of 216-9. In reply Instonians came up short being bowled out for 145 with skipper Warke making 51.
The semi finals saw Muckamore come up against CIYMS and North Down took on Cooke Collegians.
Muckamore posted a competitive total of 185 with young Luke Allen top scoring with 63, supported by Jonathan Gordon with 32. CIYMS fell well short of their target bowled out for 69 with skipper Leslie Allen the pick of the bowlers with 2-9.
Cooke Collegians probably thought they had a winning score at the halfway point of the other semi final when they made 264 with Luke Willmott to the fore with 69. Marty Moreland, last years 1st XI captain at Comber, was the best of the bowlers with 4-65.
Cooke hadn't accounted for Peter Shield's man of the match effort of 139 not out to steer his side to victory and into the final.
Who's going to win - well it hopefully will be a close match with both sides having a good mix of youth and experience in their ranks. So it will come down to who stands up to the presssure of a final.
North Down have a several players who have experience of playing in Senior Cup finals and this may count on Saturday but you never know underdogs Muckamore might just surprise them.
Good luck to both teams.
Thanks again to the sponsors GMcG for doing a great job.